We all know how significant Italy becomes when it comes to the preservation of culture. Known as the host of the birthplace of the Renaissance, it is only fitting that it should possess some of the most exquisite cultural establishments in the world. Let us present some of them and let you decide whether you’ll visit them or not (wink)!
1. Vatican Museums:
If you wish to be overwhelmed right away, you might want to check out the Vatican Museums located in the heart of the Eternal City (Rome). Featuring an unfathomable collection of items assembled by the popes throughout history, it is one of the most important museums in the world. Renowned points of interest such as the Sistine Chapel decorated by Michelangelo and the Stanze di Raffaello by Raphael are all slices of the same pie and they are highly revered in the world of arts. It contains a total of 54 galleries and the spirit-elevating journey culminates in the aforementioned Sistine Chapel. Notable works of art include: Jan Matejko’s “Sobieski at Vienna”; Pietro Perugino’s “Madonna and Child with Saints and San Francesco al Prato Resurrection”; Leonardo da Vinci’s “St. Jerome in the Wilderness”; Raphael’s Madonna of Foligno, Oddi Altarpiece and Transfiguration; and many others. Established in 1506 by Pope Julius II, the Vatican Museums receive 6 million visitors each year (not to mention the fact that it is the 6th most visited museum in the world).
2. Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze:
When we speak of the Renaissance, we cannot omit the importance of Florence. Thus, its Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze absolutely had to make it to our list. Established in 1784 by Pietro Leopoldo, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, the museum is adjoined by the Accademia di Belle Arti (also known as the Academy of Fine Arts of Florence). Located at 58-60 via Ricasoli, 50122, the gallery is renowned for harbouring the Statue of David by Michelangelo (among other works by the master artist). No matter where you might look, the Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze is the most significant institute when it comes to 15th and 16th century paintings. Works of notable artists such as Paolo Uccello, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Sandro Botticelli and Andrea del Sarto can be admired at length there whilst the atmosphere provides nothing but immersion. Oh, and let us not forget about the original plaster for the Rape of the Sabine Women by Italo-Flemish sculptor Giambologna.
3. Naples National Archaeological Museum:
Moving on, we could not have leapt over Naples. The Naples National Archaeological Museum is not only one of the most important cultural establishments in southern Italy but also one of the most eye-popping ones. Colloquially known also as MANN, the museum was founded in the mid-18th century. Located at the renowned Piazza Museo (Museum Square) of Naples, the museum harbours one of the largest collections of Roman artefacts from Pompeii, Stabiae and Herculaneum in the world. Other Greek, Roman and Renaissance items can be viewed as well, whilst its centrepiece is the world-famous Farnese Collection. This collection includes the Farnese Bull, the Farnese Hercules, the Farnese Artemis, Venus Kallipygos, and others. Furthermore, you can also find exquisite mosaics there that will surely drop your jaw such as the renowned Alexander Mosaic dating from 100 BC. Oh, and let us not forget about the Egyptian collection of 2,500 items and the guilty pleasure of the Secret Cabinet (a section that contains items depicting sexual manifestations). Definitely a must-visit!
4. Gallerie dell’Accademia (Venice):
Venice makes this list with its fabulous Gallerie dell’Accademia located at Campo della Carità, Dorsoduro 1050. Established in 1750, the museum was originally the gallery of the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia (the art academy of Venice). After gaineding independence from the aforementioned institute in 1879, it has only grown in size and in grandeur. You might ask what differentiates this art museum from others like it. Well, the “Vitruvian Man” of Leonardo da Vinci, of course! Other renowned artists represented include Antonello da Messina, Bernardo Bellotto, Giuseppe Zais, Veronese, Pacino di Bonaguida, Lorenzo Lotto, Canaletto, Giulio Carpioni, Giorgione, Rosalba Carriera, Pietro Gaspari, Michele Giambono, Luca Giordano, Francesco Guardi, Johann Liss, Charles Le Brun, Fetti, Pietro Longhi, Mantegna, Michele Marieschi, Giambattista Pittoni, Preti, Tiepolo, Tintoretto, Gentile and Giovanni Bellini, Titian, Vasari, Lazzaro Bastiani, and many others. Oh, and do admire the façade of the building that houses these timeless artists for it is simply spectacular!
Did you enjoy our list? How many of the aforementioned establishments have you visited and how many of them are you planning on visiting? Hit the comment section below and tell us all about it! Oh, and be sure to check back for some other interesting articles!